Category Archives: shifters
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: December 3, 2013
Paperback: 217 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Meet the furry big brother that the Wird sisters never had…
Bren is a cocky, brash hound of a werewolf who loathes the idea of belonging to Aric’s pack—much less finding a mate. But Bren’s hotheaded behavior lands him in the doghouse when he defies Aric’s authority in front of his pack, bringing up a sore subject that’s bound to make the Alpha wolf’s blood boil…
Luckily for him, no one can stay mad at Bren and his wild charm for long. And when some frightening ghosts launch a hostile paranormal takeover, Bren will team up with Celia to take down the evil ghouls before they hurt someone they both love…
Bren is a lone wolf—or werewolf that is. He has been without a pack since his parents died when he was a kid and the elder’s wouldn’t allow him to join his father’s pack. Bren is okay with that because his “pack” consists of the people who matter to him: his roommate, Dan and Celia Wird and her sisters. They are the only people he can count on, the only people he can trust, and the only people he would die to protect.
And to protect those he loves against the growing danger from the demons and the witches of The Tribe that keep calling together the evilest of supernaturals, he would even agree to join Aric’s pack, even though the pure-blooded bastard broke Celia’s heart.
That doesn’t mean he is going to play by Aric’s rules like a good little pup. Bren’s mouth has a habit of writing checks his ass can’t cash and mouthing off to an alpha-were might not always be the best way to show that you are willing to be part of the pack.
When their friend Dan is kidnapped by soul-sucking ghouls, Bren has to quickly decide if he can trust the pack or will he and Celia go it alone to find Dan before it is too late.
As the Weird Girl series is told by Celia’s point of view, this was interesting to read from Bren’s perspective. He gives us some insight into his friendships with Dan and Celia and why he they mean so much to him. We also learn why he is a lone wolf and why he likes it that way.
This story continues on from where we left off after A Cursed Embrace. There is plenty of action since the witch is now calling forth cursed souls and will try to possess bodies and they keep showing up around Bren and Celia.
It was an enjoyable addition to the series and gives Celia’s friends a little more depth to their characters. I don’t know what I enjoyed more: watching Bren torment his roommate Dan or Celia, Bren mouthing off to Aric, Bren riling up Aric’s new fiance or the always entertaining disapproving neighbor, Mrs. Mancuso.
Received an ARC courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.
I jumped out and ambled toward the blue Colonial. Mrs. Mancuso, the girls’ elderly neighbor, was sweeping her front steps by the light of her lawn jockey’s lantern, a freak-ass little statue with bright red pants and a lazy eye. Despite the late hour she brushed her little broom back and forth with quick precise motions, even though any sap could have eaten off of the wooden steps as they were. She was probably bored, and lonely. The Wird sisters seemed to be her only form of entertainment.
She buttoned the top of her coat to protect her frail body against the cold. As a were, I’d keep the majority of my strength and reflexes till my dying day. Little old humans like her didn’t have that luxury. I grinned with my new set of chompers and winked her way. “Hey, sex-uh lady.”
Mrs. Mancuso smiled and tucked her neck skin into her brown wool scarf. “Oh, Brendan, you’re such a good boy to flirt with an old lady.” She furrowed her penciled in brows and glanced over at Celia’s former home sweet home. “Too good a boy in fact to be hanging out with those Wird girls.”
I nodded in agreement. “Don’t worry, Mrs. M, I’m trying to help them see the light. I plan to spend the next few hours reading to them from the Bible. They’ll come around, just leave it to me.”
The front door of the Wird house crashed open. There stood Celia—five-foot-three inches of long lethal muscles in skinny jeans and a tight white long sleeved T-shirt. The breeze picked up, sweeping her long mane of brown curls around her face. She pushed her hair out of the way, exposing her narrowing green eyes. Her supersized hearing had obviously picked up my chat with their not-so-favorite neighbor.
I waved. “Hey, Ceel. What’s wrong? Still mad I made you cancel your porn subscription?”
It was really hard not to laugh at her reaction. Celia subscribing to porn was like me joining a Justin Bieber fan club—so not happening. Her eyes shot open only to narrow further at Mrs. Mancuso’s stiff, reprimanding middle finger.
Celia stormed to the edge of her front porch, and while a wide driveway separated both houses, I still caught her golden skin reddening beneath the whitening glare of her porch light. “Mrs. Mancuso, I do not have a porn—”
“Harlot!” Mrs. Mancuso shot back. She lifted her broom defensively, daring Celia to cross the driveway and step foot on her property. Celia pinched the bridge of her nose. In a Mancuso/Celia Wird smack-down, Mrs. M won every time. Not that Celia couldn’t crush her like a fistful of berries, but because Ceel didn’t pick on those weaker than her, no matter how much they annoyed her.
I placed my hand on Mrs M’s shoulder. “It’s okay, honey-bunches. I won’t stop until the sin is washed from her wanton soul.”
“Bren, that’s enough out of you.”
Mrs. M patted my arm, ignoring Celia. “You’re a good boy, Branden,” she said once more.
She flipped Celia off again before shuffling into her house.
A Cursed Moon includes a preview of the upcoming Weird Girls novel Cursed by Destiny!
Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is a full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the Great Northwest. A member of Romance Writers of America, she attributes her passion for storytelling to the rough New Jersey neighborhood she was raised in. As a child, she was rarely allowed to leave the safety of her house and passed her time fantasizing about flying, fairies, and things that go bump in the night. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she began writing in May 2009. Her Weird Girls Urban Fantasy Romance series is published with Penguin Random House’s Signet Eclipse and released to stellar praise from multiple reviewers including: Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today, and Romantic Times. THE WEIRD GIRLS: A Novella, SEALED WITH A CURSE, and A CURSED EMBRACE are now available. A CURSED MOON: A Novella, releases December 3, 2013, followed by CURSED BY DESTINY, January 7, 2014.
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Publisher: Thea Harrison
Publishing Date: November 28, 2013
Ebook: ?? novella
Rating: 5 stars
The Bermuda Triangle. Pirates. The Peanut. What could possibly go wrong?
Dragos Cuelebre needs a vacation. So does Pia, his mate. When the First Family of the Wyr head to Bermuda for some much needed R&R, it’s no ordinary undertaking – and no ordinary weekend in the sun. Between hunting for ancient treasure buried beneath the waves and keeping track of their son, Liam—a.k.a. Peanut, whose Wyr abilities are manifesting far ahead of schedule—it’s a miracle that Pia and Dragos can get any time together.
They’re determined to make the most of each moment, no matter who tries to get in their way.
And did we mention pirates?
For Dragos Cuelebre, this has been one of the greatest, but craziest years in his millenia of existence. He was met and mated Pia, he lost two of his friends and sentinels to their own matings, he saved the Elven domain, he held the first Sentinel Games, and his mate gave him the greatest treasure that he has even had—his son, Liam. After a year like this, the Cuelebre family are in need of a quiet vacation.
At least that is what Pia is trying to convince Dragos to do with some subtle hints. She even gets out some books from the library on lost treasures knowing full well that an acquisitive dragon like Dragos won’t be able to resist a treasure hunting adventure and a family vacation in the Caribbean is just what Pia needs.
But you can’t expect a treasure hunt with the Lord of the Wyrs to be without complications. Especially since there are several parties already looking for the lost treasure of the Light Fae.
It doesn’t take long for a Wyr as powerful as Dragos to locate the treasure especially when it contains magical items and since the pirates can’t take the treasure from him, they take something much more valuable than gold—his newborn son.
Peanut is now my favorite character of all time! I absolutely love him! We have this story told not only from Pia and Drago’s POV, but we also have several chapters told by their son, Liam, affectionately known as Peanut. He is absolutely adorable!! He even won over the harpy, Aryal, in Kinked, he’s that cute.
I loved that Thea went back to Dragos and Pia in Lord’s Fall and we were able to once again enjoy time with them and their new son. It was an interesting and lighthearted novella. We have become complacent with Dragos. He is a devoted husband and now father. But this story shows just what happens when you cross someone as powerful and deadly as a Wyr-dragon. He isn’t Lord of the Wyr for nothing.
And did I mention how cute Peanut is??
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Mommy carried him into his room. He thought things were going quite well until she set him down on the thick, soft rug in the middle of the floor.
No, that wasn’t what he wanted. That was very much not what he wanted.
He was tired again, and his mouth hurt, and he was hungry all of the time. Hungry for what, he didn’t know. Hungry, hungry.
So he scowled and concentrated mightily on something that he wanted.
And the world shifted.
He felt better. Quite a bit better, actually. His new mouth didn’t hurt at all, but he was still very hungry.
Mommy kept talking as she moved around his room. She pulled diapers out of drawers, set them on the changing table and turned to the closet. “…I want to take you to the beach and play in the sand with you, except I don’t know that we should. Are you too young to play in sand, or to go into salt water? Peanut, you are such a statistical outlier, half the time I have no idea what we should do with you.”
She turned away from the closet, her arms full of clothes. When she looked at him, she shrieked and dropped everything.
It startled him so badly he felt a burst of anxiety. He turned around to scoot backward toward her as fast as he could, but something flopped along his back, and his arms and legs weren’t working quite the way they had been earlier. He stopped, confused, and looked down at himself.
Slender white forelegs stretched to the floor. He picked up a front paw, staring at the talons. Then he looked over his shoulder and flexed sleek, graceful wings. A tail trailed the floor behind him. He reached for it with one forepaw and picked up the end. When he tugged at it, his butt wagged. The tail was attached to him.
Mommy knelt in front of him and cupped his face. He looked up into her eyes. She was teary and yet smiling. “You are the cleverest baby ever,” she said. “You’re so beautiful, and exactly how I first dreamed of you.”
Pleasure sleeked him down, and he smiled at her.
Her eyes went very round. Then she beamed at him. “That’s quite a mouthful of toofers you’ve got there, too.”
She gathered him up in her arms. He tucked his snout into the crook of her neck, and it was so good. It was almost everything he wanted, except….
He was so hungry.
He fussed and whined, and she sat on the floor and rocked him, while she dug her cell phone out of her pocket and moved her thumb rapidly over the keypad. “Dragos, you have to come home right now.”
Daddy’s sharp voice came over the phone. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong exactly, but Liam has changed and he’s upset.”
“What do you mean, he’s changed?”
“I mean he’s changed! He’s in his dragon form, and I can’t even tell you how beautiful he is. He’s also upset for some reason. Maybe it scared him? And you’re missing all of it. You need to come see this.”
“I’ll be right there.”
Mommy set the phone aside as Liam whined and plucked at her shirt. “Are you hungry?” she asked gently. He nodded. “I can’t nurse you when you’re like this, sweetheart, not with all of those razor sharp teeth.”
That was the saddest thing he had ever heard in his whole life. He lifted his head and looked at her, grief bleeding from his eyes.
“Oh Peanut, I’m so sorry. Please don’t look at me that way.” They considered each other desperately. Mommy’s expression turned firm. He folded his wings back and clung to her, as she rolled to her feet and carried him to the kitchen.
She opened the fridge door and pulled out a pan that had the something he was craving. It smelled oh, so good. He arched toward the pan, reaching with both front paws.
“Hold on—let me get the plastic wrap off first.”
She slid to the floor as he struggled to get to the contents in the pan. She snatched off the plastic wrap, set the pan on the kitchen tile, and he fell on the leftover sirloin roast. Eyes closed, his whole body tense, he focused on gorging on the meat.
Running footsteps sounded in the background, but it was only Daddy, so he ignored it. A moment later, Daddy said in a quiet voice, “Well, damn. Look at that. Hello, little man.”
A large, gentle hand came down on Liam’s back, between his wings, and contentment filled him.
“I didn’t know what else to do,” Pia said. “He acted like he was starving, and he has all those teeth. Then I remembered what you said about how he was going to need a lot of meat.”
“You did exactly what you should have,” said Daddy.
Liam finished off the roast. The hungriness had gone away, and his belly felt comfortably stretched and full. Sleepiness descended. Eyes drooping, he looked over his shoulder. Daddy and Mommy knelt on either side of him, both smiling.
He scooted backward toward Mommy. When she gathered him up, he turned to climb up her body until he lay draped along her shoulders.
“I’m telling you, this is just like my dreams,” Mommy said. She reached up to stroke his leg. He stopped listening to their conversation, tucked his snout in the neckline of her shirt and fell fast asleep.
ORDER A COPY: Kindle or AllRomanceEBooks
Publishing Date: November 5, 2013
Paperback: 304 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…
As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.
To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.
Aryal is a harpy in every definition of the word. Not only in her Wyr form does she changes in the harpy of Greek Mythology with torso and head of a woman and wings and talons of a bird of prey, but her personality is that of a unpleasant shrew. And she likes it that way.
She is the only female Sentinel and in the recent Sentinel games, she once again proved her worthiness of that coveted position. But it is in the last game, that Quentin Caeravorn also earned one of the open spots which was vacated when Rune and Tiago left to be with their mates. Quentin was the former boss of Pia, Drago’s new mate. She might have to put up with Pia, but Aryal knows deep in her bones that there is something off about Quentin. She just hasn’t been able to pin anything specific on him. Two years of investigation has lead to dead ends and dried up leads, but she refuses to have someone as dirty as Quentin at her back.
When their dislike for each other puts them literally at each other’s throats, Dragos has had enough. He is sending them out of New York for the next month. They are being sent on a mission which they are required to complete together, without killing each other, and to find a way to settle their differences or else they will both be replaced.
Both would like nothing more than for an “accident” to help them out with removing their nemesis, but after hammering out their differences with fists, talons and claws, they are finally finding their way around the kinks in both of their dominant personalities.
This story had a lot a fun as well as a few touching moments. Aryal and Quentin are both dominant personalities and more ways than one. I love how they finally deal with their growing sexual tension by offering bargains and timing each other to allow each to have chance to dominate the other.
When they are forced to work together, they both decide that maybe an opportunity will arise where the other will get killed and then they can return to the sentinels without any guilt. Once with they work out their differences to at least some degree, their next thoughts include “hate sex.”
Aryal finally realized she would need to be nice to Pia so that she could get closer to Drago’s and Pia’s newborn son, Liam, who stole Arayal’s heart in just a few minutes of seeing his intelligent, cherubic face.
I really like Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series, and this was definitely a great addition to the rest of the series.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
He was going to have to pause to think about this. He didn’t want to. His hands remembered how it felt to latch around her neck, and they wanted to do it again. Flexing his long fingers, he exited the gym–
Just down the hall, the door to one of the elevators opened, and Aryal and Grym walked out.
The sight of her was the same shock to the system as it always was, a raw live jolt of electricity that juddered over his nerve endings. Fueled by a surge of adrenaline, his mind leaped to a higher, faster level. This must be what it felt like for humans to jack on amphetamines.
He lunged down the hall toward her, noting every detail about her as he gained speed. As usual, she wore fighting leathers and her thick, black shoulder-length hair was tangled. Even though he knew that meant she had recently been airborne, she looked as rumpled as if she had just gotten out of bed. Her normally pale skin was flush all over with a clear, high color.
She looked as if she was glowing from an internal flame. Even though her face was uncharacteristically drawn with tiredness, she was still more alive than anyone he had ever met, ten times more vibrant than any other woman he had ever seen.
A stiletto of bitterness lanced him. Gods, if he could ever meet a woman like that whom he didn’t loathe as completed as he loathed her, he might lose this whip of restlessness that drove him. He could live the rest of his life and do nothing, be nothing but completely content. It was hideously unfair that he would look at this harpy and realize that about himself.
She saw him coming. Even though his intent was unmistakable, her fact lit up, because she was just bent that way. As she turned toward him, she swept one of her arms backward, hard, and knocked Grym in the chest so that he staggered back into the elevator. Then she strode forward to engage.
She didn’t even pause to say anything or ask Quentin why. They both knew there were so many reasons.
He leaped at her, and she dove low so that he overshot, but he thrust out one hand and grabbed a magnificent handful of that tangled black hair and yanked her with him.
They tumbled together, growling, arms and limbs entwined. He caught her scent, and she smelled like health woman, clean cold air and arousal.
So the rumors about her and Grym must be true. He liked Grym and found the thought of their pairing so offensive that his growling deepened and grew edged.
She flipped him onto his back. Heaving hard, he flipped them over again and covered her straining body with his. As he pinned her long, taut torso, their hips came into alignment. There was rough friction at his groin, along with her wild scent.
It was so goddamn primal.
His cock stiffened again. Bloody hell.
Her eyes flashed furiously through her tangled hair. Fire bloomed down the length of his back as she raked him with her talons Quicker than thought, breathing heavily, he punched her in the face. For one split second he thought she looked surprised and thoughtful. Then she twisted underneath him to knee him in the groin. More fire bloomed in an infernal garden.
He still had one fist clenched in her hair. Snarling, he yanked her head back and struck down, intended to fasten his teeth on her bared throat.
He never connected.
One moment they were locked together in a vicious, intimate embrace. The next moment he was several yards away, sprawled in a tangle against the wall in a complete disconnect with reality. He felt as if he had been kicked by a mountain.
Which in a way, he realized, he had been. His mind caught up with what had happened. Broken ribs protesting, he struggled to roll over onto his hands and knees, and he looked back in the direction of the elevators.
Dragos stood where they had been fighting, the harpy prone at his feet. Grym stood quietly in the open doorway of the elevator that Aryal had knocked him into, hands lax, all of his attention fixed on the Lord of the Wyr.
More details sank in. Dragos was dressed in jeans and a thin silk sweater, and he had one boot planted in the middle of Aryal’s back. He looked utterly furious, his roughhewn expression set in lines of brutality.
He also held his sleeping son cradled against his shoulder. Quentin had thought that baby was small before—just six pounds when he had been born, Pia had told him. Held against the tremendous musculature of his father’s chest, he looked as tiny as a small child’s doll.
Quentin’s mind flatlined.
He had thought he didn’t hold any illusions about Dragos. He knew that the only thing that could possibly take the dragon down was a dedicated army with inspired leadership and experienced magic users. But if he had ever held a secret daydream of someone besting Dragos in his human form in single, unarmed combat, that daydream had just been shattered forever.
Not only had Dragos just taken down two of the best, nastiest Wyr fighters in the world, he had done it by moving faster than Quentin could comprehend.
And he did it all without ever jostling the baby enough to wake him.
ORDER A COPY: The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo (Love at Stake)
Publisher: Avon Books
Publishing Date: August 27, 2013
Paperback: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Dougal Kincaid has something to prove. After being injured in a battle with the Malcontents, he’s ready for active duty protecting unsuspecting mortals from these villainous vampires who want to rule the world. But first he has to get control of himself . . . because just the sight of a certain lovely doctor has his injured hand doing some peculiar things, not to mention the sizzling sensation that burns along his dragon tattoo.
Vampires? Vampires?! As a scientist, Leah is having trouble believing that these immortal creatures exist. But there they are, standing in front of her, asking for help in solving a genetic puzzle that can save mankind. There’s even one in a sexy kilt! Just one look into Dougal’s gorgeous green eyes sets her pulse racing. But can she trust him—and the overwhelming desire that refuses to be ignored?
Dougal Kincaid had a rather rough life. He was kidnapped as a boy and was pressed into service on a ship. When his ship was overtaken by pirates, he was sold into slavery. It was only through the love of the master’s daughter that she helped him escape his bondage, but Dougal couldn’t save her in return. Her death has haunted him for the last 300 years.
After being turned into a vampire in 1749, his life had improved. He had friends and he was always able to enjoy playing his beloved bagpipes. But his life once again took a dismal turn when he lost his right hand during a battle with the malcontents. Now all anyone wants to talk to him about is his missing hand.
Dougal had to learn to sword fight left handed and then after he received a prosthetic hand, he learned to again fight right handed. Being ambidextrous makes him value to MacKay S&I, but Dougal wants more from his life than the next bloody battle.
Dougal lost more than just his hand that day. He lost his ability to play his bagpipes. His music was part of his soul, and without it he has felt lost.
When Roman brings in geneticist, Leah Chin to help deal with Master Han’s superhuman slaves, Douglas is captivated by her from the moment she walks into Romatech. Something about her reminds him of the woman he lost 300 years ago, and he is not about to let anything happen to her again.
But Leah isn’t too sure that she can deal with a relationship with a vampire, although Dougal’s quiet manner and green eyes haunts her dreams.
More than anything Dougal wants to be able to woo Leah with his music and show her that there is more to the man than just the vampire she sees.
i really love this series and now it is Dougal’s turn. Dougal is a very deep and complex character. I really liked the way his story unfolded. He is quiet and awkward, even with his fellow vampires, and that has only increased since he lost his hand.
Leah is a genius and completed her doctorate at age 21. Starting college at 14 after being homeschooled, left Leah socially awkward and not used to having any friends. She is used to people showing a friendly face, only so they can use her knowledge.
They understand each other and this quickly forms a bond between the two of them.
I was a little disappointed in Howard’s story, although I can’t explain exactly what bothered me about it, maybe it was the fairytale aspect, but I enjoyed Dougal’s story. Usually I don’t like the reincarnated storyline, but in this story it was presented more that Leah reminded him of the woman he lost and what is what caught his initial attention. He declares often that Leah is quite different from Li Lei and he wants Leah.
There was also the continuing storyline where we are trying to defeat Master Han who is being helped by the demon Darafar.
Received an ARC from abovethetreeline.com courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A wailing sound echoed in the distance, and she turned her head toward it. It sounded familiar somehow, like a distant memory. A chill skittered down her back, and she pulled on her thick cardigan sweater.
She crossed the basketball court, headed for the gazebo. The sound grew louder, more confident. More beautiful. She halted with a gasp. It was pipe music. Just like Grandpa had played that magical summer. She’d thought the pipes were the most beautiful sound in the world.
She closed her eyes to listen, and the plaintive melody enveloped her, seeped into her skin, and settled in her heart. So much emotion. She didn’t know how the pipes could sound like they were crying, but they did.
Tears filled her eyes as flashes of memory returned from fourteen years ago. The green fields of Ireland. Her grandfather’s lilting voice and warm hug. She’d never had to earn his hugs with straight As. He had loved her for simply being herself. He would have loved this music.
Was it Dougal? It had to be him. How could she resist such a man? His handsome face touched her heart, and his music lured her soul. As she followed the sound of the pipes, her skin pebbled with goosebumps. Was she following her destiny?
Leah, I’ve waited so long for you.
His voice whispered in her mind. He was still thinking about her, still wanting her. She passed the gazebo and headed for the woods. A white shirt came into view.
It was him. She didn’t want to disturb his playing, so she remained halfway hidden behind a tree. He was seated on a bench, his head bowed and forehead furrowed as he concentrated on his hands. His left hand moved easily and gracefully, but the fingers on his prosthetic hand were jerky and slow.
Leah’s heart ached for him. How it must hurt him to struggle with his music. He ended the plaintive melody and sighed.
“Enough of sadness,” he whispered. “I need joy in my life.” I need Leah.
Her breath caught. Should she tell him she was here? Did she dare? In a split second, she knew that if she approached him now, her life would be forever changed. She would fall for a vampire, and he would never let her go.
Her feet froze, unable to move.
He launched into a happy jig, but after a few bars, his prosthetic hand couldn’t keep up. She grimaced as the music soured and declined into a jarring noise.
“Dammit!” He tossed the pipes onto the ground, and they let out a dying wail as leftover air fizzled from the bag. “Damn it to hell.” He strode toward the building, his kilt swishing about his knees.
She stood still, watching him go, then her gaze shifted back to the pipes where they rested on a bed of dead leaves. A breeze stirred up more leaves, and they settled on the bag. In another hour, they might be completely covered with dead leaves. Buried.
A surge of anger shot through her. How dare he give up! He played from his soul. Without music, how would his soul survive?
She wouldn’t let him quit. She strode toward the pipes and gathered them up in her arms. Her grip caused the remaining air in the bag to escape, and the pipes protested with a forlorn wail.
“What are ye doing?” he asked softly.
She whirled around. “I-I didn’t think these should be left outside.”
His brow furrowed with a deep scowl. “How long have ye been out here?”
“Long enough.” She lifted her chin. “You came back awfully fast.”
“I can move verra quickly.” His mouth thinned. “At least my feet can.”
“I know you were having trouble with the jig, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from playing. The slow music was absolutely—“
“Sad,” he interrupted her, his eyes flashing.
“I was going to say beautiful.”
“Nay. It was melancholy. And pathetic. Should I spend the rest of my miserably long life with only sad music to fill my soul?”
“Better to have a sad soul than an empty one.” She held the pipes out to him. “And you have to believe that it will get better. You can’t give up on yourself.”
ORDER A COPY: Tall, Dark, and Vampire
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publishing Date: August 6, 2013
Paperback: 320 pages
Rating: 4 Stars
We’re talking today with author Sara Humphreys about her new series, Dead in the City, her new Demon serials, and saying goodbye to the Amoveo Legend. Check it out.
The last person Olivia Hollingsworth expected to see at her Greenwich Village vampire club was her one true love, Doug Paxton—whom she believed to be dead for centuries. Olivia thought she had moved on, but when Doug reappears, her heart knows she’d rather die than lose him again.
Ever since Doug can remember, a red-haired siren has haunted his dreams. He never thought she could be real until he goes to investigate a murder at Olivia’s night club. However, as the bodies keep piling up at her feet, he must fight to prove her innocence—even if it costs him his life.
Det. Douglas Paxton knew there was something off when he arrived at the nightclub known as The Coven and saw the redheaded beauty standing outside the club. The same beauty who has been haunting his dreams for years now. There was no possible way that she was real. But Doug also knew trouble when he saw it and this place was sending his cop-senses screaming that something was just not right. He had to get his head back into the game and stop focusing on her. People we dying and the killer’s trail was leading right to her doorstep. She might look like his dreamscape beauty, but she was also a possible suspect in the brutal slayings.
Doug wasn’t the only one reeling from their first meeting. To Doug, Olivia was simply a woman he met in vivid dreams. For Olivia, Doug looks just like her great love who she lost the night she was made vampire 300 years ago. As Olivia comes to realize that Doug doesn’t just look like her true love, he is her love reincarnated. She also comes to realize that unless she is willing to turn him, she will be forced to someday watch him die once again.
Although forcing a vampire life on Doug is the last thing she wants to do, when the killer leaves Doug for dead behind her nightclub, Olivia knows she won’t lose him again. When he wakes, Olivia finds that in fact Doug might never forgive her, especially when his turning is…off. He wakes too early from his turning, he has an older vamp’s control of his bloodlust, and his new abilities fall to him naturally…too naturally. Is there such a thing as a naturally born vampire?
As Doug tries to adjust to what is happening to him, they still have a killer to find. A killer who seems to be bringing death right to Olivia’s front door.
A great start to a great new series. There are a few campy vampire abilities, like flying; not changing to a bat, but just flying. Overall, the story was well told and kept your attention, and the characters were well written.
Doug was a stand out character here: dedicated cop unaware of the supernatural, who drawn to the heroine through dreams. He was flawlessly turned into a vampire as if he had been turned hundreds of years ago and not just this morning. That alone kept you guessing as to what was up with Doug, let alone the whole “who is the killer” mystery.
We also met many other characters who I am sure will be the focus of future novels.
A great new paranormal series.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you!
“I need to know if you’re real, or if I’m making it all up, like that kiss in the alley.” His erection pressed against her lower back as his hands brushed down her bare arms. “Was that you, Olivia? Was it another dream or a hallucination from hitting my head?”
He didn’t know what was real and what was imaginary and probably felt like he was going insane. Olivia wanted to tell him, but where would she begin? How could she explain something she was still trying to understand?
Doug licked the hypersensitive skin along her neck as he murmured, “Even if it is all just dreams, I don’t care. It feels pretty fucking real.”
He gripped her shoulders and nuzzled her curly red hair off her neck. She arched back, lifted her hands through his short hair, bathing in the feel of his masculine hands as they massaged her breasts. A lusty moan escaped her lips as Doug trailed hot kisses along her neck, and he pinched her nipples as they peaked in response. She pressed herself further into his grasp, desperate to get closer, while he nibbled on the exposed skin.
“I feel like I’ve been looking for you forever–my whole life,” he murmured. “Every time you get closer, but no matter how much I get, it is’t enough. I want more. I want it all.”
His hands wandered to her waist and rested on the gentle curve of her hips. She pressed back and ground against him, which elicited a moan of pleasure as his lips pressed against the crook of her neck.
“Then what are you waiting for?” Olivia spun in his arms, grabbed his face with both hands, and whispered against his lips, “Take it.”
He captured her mouth with his greedily, and she opened for him, letting him plunder. Devouring her as though she might vanish from his embrace at any moment, he scooped her up and carried her toward the abandoned taxi parked at the curb. Olivia kicked off her stilettos, wrapped her arms around his neck, and deepened the kiss–licking and nipping at his firm, warm lips–all the while wishing it were more than a dream.
He sat her down on the hood of the cab and stood between her legs, which she promptly wrapped around his waist, tugging him harder against her. Heat pressed enticingly against heat. Doug cradled her head in his hands and suckled on her lower lip before breaking the kiss. He rested his forehead on hers and brushed his thumb along the skin of her cheek as her hands rested on his ass.
He pulled back abruptly and lifted her chin, forcing her to look him in the face, and when their eyes met, all the breath rushed from his lungs. Familiar turquoise eyes stared at her beneath a furrowed brow, and she watched as the pieces came together.
“It’s you,” he said under his breath. “I’m not crazy, am I, Olivia? The second I laid eyes on you tonight outside the club, I knew you were mine. I’ve dreamt of you since I can remember, but I never though you could be real.” He moved closer, brushing his lips along the corner of her mouth. “And then, there you were on a New York City sidewalk in living color.
ORDER A COPY: The Wicked (A Novella of the Elder Races)
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publishing Date: July 2, 2013
eBook: 105 pages
Rating: 5 stars
The adventure of a lifetime might just end in turmoil, but when it includes meeting your future mate, who gives a hoot?
A Novella of the Elder Races
For a librarian with a focus on rare magic books, Olivia’s new job is a dream come true. She has been hired as part of a team to help manage the safe transportation of the collection of books owned by the Vampyre sorceress Carling Severan. The fact that the library is located on a mysterious island in an Other land only heightens the adventure.
Head of security for the expedition, Sebastian Hale is tired of his rootless life of adventure and finds himself attracted to the calm, beautiful librarian. But he is living a personal nightmare. He has been hit with a curse that is slowly taking away his sight, and he doesn’t know if he will survive the results.
But the powerful feelings growing between them, along with Sebastian’s inner turmoil, take a backseat when they learn there is a traitor lurking among their expedition team. With Elder Races politics and a priceless library on the line, they’ll have to rely on each other to survive the experience.
Warning: When a librarian who likes to nest meets an owl Wyr who has always lived for adventure, their romance won’t just be fly-by-night.
Olivia Sutton is a librarian as well as a witch. When Olivia’s friend, Grace Andreas, set her up to meet Carling Severan, former leader of the Nightkind, to be part of the expedition to return to the Other land to retrieve Carling’s extensive collection of magical books, Olivia thought she was setting off for the greatest adventure of her life. Going to an Other land and getting a rare view of Carling’s vast collection of mystics books, including ancient Egyptian papyruses, is a dream come true for a witch-librarian.
She couldn’t know that that adventure would include a gorgeous Wyr named Sebastian Hale would was heading up the security team, and who would turn her world upside down in the most incredible way.
Nor did she realize that she would actually be making friends with a oddball Djinn.
But she also couldn’t know that Julian Regillus, the current Nightkind King and Carling’s child, would do everything he could to stop Carling from getting those books.
This will definitely change Olivia’s life, as long as she can survive the adventure.
I really enjoy Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series and this was a great short short which I read in an afternoon. Sadly, it reminded me that I missed the series since catching up with Oracle’s Moon. This story also gives us a quick update with Grace Andreas and the Djinn Khalil from Oracle’s Moon and how their lives have changed since Oracle’s Moon.
Like all series, there are characters and stories that I liked more than some others, and even though it was a very short story, I really enjoyed the characters of Olivia and Sebastian. Olivia was smart and thoughtful, and willing to give an almost childlike, annoying and temperamental Djinn a chance, and Sebastian who quickly sees how special and unique Olivia is and will fight to keep her. The story also highlighted several times how one moment can change everything. i.e.
And the job remained just has he thought it would, mind numbingly routine.
Right up to the moment a human witch–a librarian–appeared in a whirlwind of Power and called a Djinn a dimwit.
Witnessing that little scene was like having a switch thrown in his head. Just like that, after five years of a dangerous, growing ennui, he came back online, sharper and clearer than he had ever been. Engaged again. Interested.
My only problem with this story is the same problem I had with Carling’s story, Serpent’s Kiss, and that is the magical library is underused as a plot point. She has a library filled with magical books, some with light magic and some filled with dark magic which literally call to you to tempt you to come open them and investigate the magic inside, and no one is opening these books. WHAT??? Have someone open the wrong book. Release some dark magic. Cause Chaos. Magical Mayhem. There’s a whole lot of plotline being ignored in the form this magical library.
A quick check shows that Thea Harrison has a new novel due out in November featuring Harpie, Aryal and another novella in December featuring Dragos again. Yay! I want to see the dragon baby again.
Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
The protective bubble that Phaedra had drawn around Sebastian’s cabin popped, and a few moments later Bailey pounded twice on the door.
“They’re finally gone,” Bailey called through the barrier. “The fucking fuckers.”
Sebastian raised his voice, the deep timbre vibrating against Olivia’s cheek. “It’s about time. Ill be right out.”
Olivia wasn’t ready to let go of him. The hard length of his body against hers, the feel of his arms around her, all answered some kind of urgent question that she hadn’t even known she was asking. Reluctantly, she lifted her head from Sebastian’s shoulder, and they looked at each other.
Then, moving with deliberation, he cupped the back of her neck, drew her forward and kissed her. When his firm, mobile lips met hers, she felt another much-needed answer. Her lips parted and he dove into her mouth deeply with his tongue, stunning her with the swiftness of his invasion.
Her world whirled in a kaleidoscopic tilt. She hadn’t expected the kiss. She was still amazed that he had confided in her, and that they had embraced.
She hadn’t expected this.
His mouth was set, hard and demanding. Still kissing her, he pushed her back and back, and she complied until she came in contact with the wall. His body covered her. He took her wrists, pinning her arms over her head and shoved one muscled, jean-clad leg between hers. His movements were so aggressive, so surprising, a shaken moan broke out of her. Dear God, he had an erection. The hard length of it pressed against her hip.
He lit her world on fire. Everything burned with incandescent light.
She wanted to touch his hair to find out if it was as soft as it looked. She wanted to touch him. Her fingers opened and closed in fists. The hard shackles of his hands prevented her from touching him the way she needed to. All she could do was squeeze his leg between hers, arch against his body and kiss him back, so she did, while her heart took off on a manic gallop, running as fast as it could straight toward him.
His breath came and went rapidly, his wide chest working like a bellows. He drew back and stared at her, his strange, golden-amber-and-black-gaze fierce. Along with the muscles of his lean body, the lines of his face has sharpened.
The realization crept in that she stared at an entirely dangerous man, and she had no idea what he would do next.
“You could always just lock the door,” she whispered. Goodness, the things that fell out of her mouth on this trip.
His face blazed. Looking utterly barbaric, he ground his hips against hers. It tore a ragged cry out of her, because she had never felt like this before, never. Not with any of her dates or former lovers. Normally she was a calm, considering person, a bit of a nerd if she were to be quite honest, but now a strange, crazed creature had taken over her body.
“Yo!” Bailey pounded on the door again. “The crew’s starting to arrive.”
He bared his teeth. He looked utterly savage. “I said I’m on my way!”
“Take your time,” said Bailey. The other woman sounded extremely cheerful. “Just letting you know.”
He hissed in the direction of the door. “Go the fuck away.”
Olivia had focused her attention on the rapid pulse beating at the base of his strong jaw. She muttered, “Would you mind if I bit you?”
Wait, who just said that?
He released one of her wrists to yank his fingers violently through is speckled hair. “God. Damn. Yes. I mean no, I don’t mind. Yes, you should bite me. As many times as you want.” He thrust a stiffened finger under her nose. “We’re going to continue this very soon. got that, Olivia?”
She nodded drunkenly, staring at the finger. He kissed her again, swiftly and hard, and then with a growl he shoved away from her and the wall and strode out of the cabin.
Our winner was Melissa L. Thank you to Kensington for the givewaway.
ORDER A COPY: Avenging Angel (The Fallen)
Publishing Date: May 28, 2013
Paperback: 337 pages
Rating: 5 stars
With a messed up family background and a tendency to grow claws and fangs, Tanner Chance isn’t exactly the boy next door. But he’s a decent cop, and he keeps himself on the side of the good guys. Convenient, because when he rescues a survivor of a horrific shifter attack he finds himself instantly smitten—with an honest-to-goodness angel, as innocent as she is irresistible.
Marna may be angelic, but she’s not stupid or weak. She can take care of herself. Tanner is more temptation than protection anyway. Or so she thinks, until someone wearing her face starts taking out some of New Orleans’ more unsavory paranormals. With police and predators both gunning for her blood, Marna has no choice but to trust Tanner…even though what’s sparking between them is hotter than anything holy.
Marna was an Angel of Death. Being an Angel of Death wasn’t something that she loved to do. She hated seeing all the pain, suffering and fear associated with death, but it was all she knew. Except Heaven is closed to her now. An Angel without wings can’t fly back to Heaven and her wings were shredded off her body by a half-shifter/half-angel named Brandt. He’s dead, killed by another Fallen, but that doesn’t stop the pain that Marna suffers each day for her loss. The loss of everything that she has ever known. The unbearable pain of having her delicate wings ripped from her body. And suffering the overwhelming emotions which are plaguing her, a Fallen Angel, rage, pain…lust.
The worst part is being a Fallen Death Angel that no longer has the killing touch. Oh how she wanted to use it to kill those shifters to just watched and laughed as her life was torn from her. She tried to touch them and failed, and they laughed at her some more. Now everyone knows that the fragile, helpless little Angel has no power to protect herself. And every predator is looking for her wanting a taste of Angel’s blood, of the power that blood can boost their supernatural abilities. She No. 1 on every supernatural’s hit list whether they want a taste or just want the fortune to be had selling her blood to the highest bidder.
Detective (and shifter) Tanner Chance has been trying to protect Marna since his brother, Brandt, left her broken and bleeding in the swamp. Now that those shifters have turned up dead and eyewitnesses are pointing to the little blonde angel as the killer, Tanner has to work fast to keep Marna from being locked up in the human jail. He will do whatever he must to protect her, even go against his training, because every sense he has tells him to protect her…to protect what is his. Marna isn’t his yet, but she will be. Both the man and the beast know she is his.
Cynthia Eden never disappoints. Although Azreal gets to keep the crown for most awesome Angel, this story kept me guessing the entire time, Who could we trust? Who is watching? Who is after them? After three stories featuring powerful, bad-ass Angels, I loved that Marna is portrayed as small and helpless. Unlike the other Fallen, Marna has not regained her Angel powers since loosing her wings. This makes her a prime target for all the vampires, demons and shifters prowling New Orleans who want to take or cash in on her powerful and very addictive angel’s blood.
There has been something between Tanner and Marna since he picked her up off the ground in the swamp in Angel In Chains and it was a great story to read. Watching Marna go from being afraid whenever she saw Tanner’s claws to her coming to trust him not to hurt her and finally their budding relationship was so enjoyable.
Another great story by Cynthia Eden!
Received a review copy from the publisher. Thank you.
Marna swallowed and lifted her chin higher. Of course, she lifted the covers higher, too. “I want to be alone now. I don’t want–”
In two seconds, he was on that bed with her. Marna tried to scramble back. Too late. He grabbed her hand and forced it against his bare chest.
Her breath rasped out, and she tried to jerk away from him. “Stop it!”
“Make me.” A cruel taunt, but he had to see what would happen.
Marna’s blue eyes widened as she tried to yank her hand away again. He just tightened his hold. Her palm was soft against his chest. Her splayed fingers pressed right over his racing heart.
“Let me go!”
The covers had dropped. She had on a black bra–one he’d raced out and bought for her before they’d gone to Hell. He’d picked up clothes for her, fantasizing a bit about her in the silk panties, and–
Her left hand plowed into his face.
He shook his head, barely feeling the sting of that blow as realization settled heavily in his gut. “You can’t do it.”
No wonder the vampire had been so close to her.
Her breath rushed out, far too fast, and he could see the frantic race of her pulse at the base of her neck. “Don’t push me.” Her words were loud, rushed. “I don’t want to hurt you!”
“You can’t.” Certain now. “You can’t hurt me.” She was touching him. Flesh to flesh.
Her skin was so pale. Her eyes wide. And the scent of her fear was driving him freaking insane. “You can’t kill me. You can’t use the Death Touch.” Fuck. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me? That vamp could have drained you dry!”
But, even as he asked, Tanner knew why she hadn’t told him. The lady didn’t trust him, not for one single minute.
“I could have handled him,” Marna gritted out.
He still held her hand pinned against his chest. “Oh, yeah? How? The way you’re handling me right now?”
Then she moved, so fast that he didn’t even see the motion of her body. Angels could always move so quickly. Marna just hadn’t moved that way in a while, and he’d forgotten…
She shoved him back on the bed and straddled him, and Marna shoved a knife against this throat.
Now where the hell had she gotten that little trinket?
The silver began to slice into his flesh.
“I found this back at Hell,” she told him, fingers clenched tightly around the hilt of the blade. “I had it when that vamp came at me. I could’ve used it on him.”
“A little knife wouldn’t stop him.” Or me. Silver would hurt like a bitch because the old tale about shifters and silver not mixing so well was true, but she wouldn’t have time to do any permanent damage. Permanent like cutting out his heart.
“It would have slowed him down. Vampires get weaker with blood loss. I would have been sure to make him plenty weak.”
Strange to hear such bloodthirsty plans come from her lips. He had to remember, the lady was far deadlier than she appeared.
Even if she’d somehow lost the Death Touch.
“When did you know?” Her legs straddled him. Did she feel the swelling cock shoving again her? Probably. Tanner didn’t really see how she could miss that. Not like it was a small thing.
The blade dug a bit deeper into his skin. “I went after those bastard panther shifters, LaRue and Stokes,” Marna confessed. “I went after the jerks because I wanted to kill them.”
So she had been seeking some vengeance. Tanner tried to keep his body perfectly still beneath her. He had one hell of a view, and other than the stinging pain in his neck, being beneath her was pretty damn pleasurable.
Being in her, that would be even better.
A hungry growl slipped from him.
Marna frowned down at him.
Tanner cleared his throat. “What happened?”
Her tongue swiped over her lips. His cock jerked.
“I–I tracked them in the Quarter,” she said. “I followed them for days. I waited, wanting the perfect moment.”
Definitely a bloodthirsty angel. He’d have to remember that little tidbit about her. Marna sure wasn’t all sunshine and light, no matter how she appeared.
“I was going to walk right up to them. Look them straight in the eyes, and watch as their lives drained away.”
He would have done the exact same thing. He liked for his kills to be personal. Those getting payback, well, they needed to see just who was delivering the justice to them.
“They always went to the same place for drinks. I waited until the bar on Bourbon Street was almost empty, and then I went inside.”
Tanner heard the echo of pain in her voice. “What did they do to you?”
“Nothing.” A laugh, heavy with bitterness, slipped from her. “I marched up to Stokes. Put my hand on his chest and waited for him to look at me with fear in his eyes.”
Beau Stokes had always been a sadistic prick. So eager to attack weaker prey. So quick to slice with his claws and laugh when his prey begged for mercy.
“But he didn’t even know who I was,” Marna whispered. did she realized she still held the knife to his throat? “He tried to kiss me. Tried to pull me closer to him, like I was another body to screw in that dark bar.”
Tanner didn’t speak.
“I wanted to kill him. I was trying to. LaRue was coming toward us, laughing, and I wanted them both to die.” Her head dipped further forward, and the curtain of her hair hid her face.
Tanner lifted his hand and pushed back her hair. He could barely feel the sting of the knife now. “But they didn’t die.”
Her lashes slowly lifted. “Angels of death–those Fallen and those who still have their wings–all of them can kill with a touch. That’s our power. Our one, unbreakable gift. Death.”
Death was a gift?
“I ran from the shifters. They were laughing at me while I ran away.” Her breath rasped out. “When Brandt took my wings from me, he took away everything that I was. I have nothing now. Nothing.”
But fury. A rage so dark it had sent her after the panthers–ready to kill and destroy.
“Angels have magic. They can do so much–conjure, stir fire.” A bitter laugh came from her. “I can’t even make smoke.” She shook her head. “So what am I supposed to do now?” Marna asked him and then she blinked, seeming to finally realize that she still had a knife at his throat. Her hand lifted as she took the knife away from his jugular. “Just wait around for a vamp to drain me? Wait for a shifter to slice me and–”
It was his turn to have her flat on her back. Tanner crushed her into the mattress. He didn’t have to worry about a Death Touch now. She wasn’t going to lose control.
Maybe it was time he did.
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publishing Date: July 2, 2013
Hardcover: 368 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Uilleam MacRieve believed he’d laid to rest the ghosts of his boyhood. But when a brutal torture revives those ancient agonies and destroys his Lykae instinct, the proud Scot craves the oblivion of death. Until he finds her—a young human so full of spirit and courage that she pulls him back from the brink.
Seized for the auction block, Chloe Todd is forced to enter a terrifying new world of monsters and lore as a bound slave. When offered up to creatures of the dark, she fears she won’t last the night. Until she’s claimed by him—a tormented immortal with heartbreaking eyes, whose touch sets her blood on fire.
With enemies circling, MacRieve spirits Chloe away to the isolated Highland keep of his youth. But once he takes her to his bed, his sensual mate becomes something more than human, evoking his savage past and testing his sanity. On the cusp of the full moon, can he conquer his worst nightmare to save Chloe . . . from himself?
Uilleam MacRieve, one of the hot and hotter lykae twins, has been living with the pain of guilt for the last 900 years. As a boy he was seduced by a succubus and because of what he feels was an act of weakness, he lost his father, his mother and the little sister she carried. His torture at the hands of the humans calling themselves The Order, and his attempted rape by a group of starving succubae have pushed Uilleam to the edge. He has bought his ticket to Hungary where the forest hides the lair of the Frye Dragán, better known as “Where Immortals Go to Die.” His Instinct has gone silent and he feels he has no reason to go on. He is ready to give up, at least until his brother Munro shows up with news that Uilleam has been waiting for…an opportunity for revenge against The Order.
The Commander’s daughter has been captured by the House of Witches and they will auction her off to the highest bidder. Uilleam is determined to purchase her in order to lure the Commander into a trap. It seems that every Lore creature is in attendance, all wanting revenge against The Order, and it is there that he smells Her…his mate. He is frantic to find her before the bidding ends and all the Lore creatures scatter. He becomes even more frantic once he realizes that his mate is the frail human being bid upon…a bid he is losing, and he can’t lose Her. If he can’t win her, he’ll just take her.
She is injured during his rescue and he takes her to the voodoo queen, Loa, to be healed. Loa sees that Uilleam is already enamored by his little mate and asks if there is one thing he would want to change and he responds for her to be immortal.
What Uilleam doesn’t know yet is that Chloe was already changing. She has started her change to immortality due to her Lorean mother. While Uilleam is trying to win her affection, and doing a damn good job of it, he sparks her final transformation and she becomes the one thing that Uilleam despises more than anything else, a succubus.
In an instant, Uilleam’s last chance for happiness has become his ultimate nightmare. He is bound by his now wide-wake Instinct to keep and protect Chloe but the thought of sharing a bed again with a succubus is making him physically ill. As the full moon approaches, the night that a mated lykae mates in a mindless frenzy, he has decide whether to keep his mate or destroy the succubus before she can steal his very soul.
This was another mesmerizing story by Kresley Cole. I will say that I was thoroughly enjoying the story, as well as the new character of Chloe Todd. Chloe is a spitfire who knows exactly what she wants and won’t be held back from whatever she wants and she is enjoying Uilleam’s attempt to win her. She has never paid much attention to men, but Uilleam’s attention and focus is winning her over. She is falling hard for him when her change is triggered and that is where the story goes to hell.
Although Uilleam’s fear/disgust of succubus is understandable, his treatment of Chloe is reprehensible. As I discussed with a friend, he made Lothaire look like a great guy. Even with his brother’s encouragement to give Chloe a chance, that she appears to be nothing like the succubus that Uilleam knew and there was no indication she would change, Uilleam treats her like a pariah, yelling at her and disparaging her while he is having sex with her, since it is her nature that is forcing him to do it. Going so far as to be physically ill after being with her because it is so disgusting to him.
This type of storyline is starting to become her m.o. and although it can make for some interesting stories and definitely adds some contention between the hero and heroine, the level of violence and disgust being fostered between them is increasing with each new story. In A Hunger Like No Other, Lachlain’s mate turns out to be Emma, a half vampire/half valkyrie. Although Lachlain is angry that his mate is a vampire after 200 years of being tortured by vampires, he doesn’t want to hurt her and even contemplates letting her go because he is not sure he can get past that fact, but he tries not to hurt her physically or mentally. When we move forward to Demon from the Dark, again all is going well between Malkom and Carrow (see bath scene – WOW!) until Malkom finds out that Carrow has betrayed him to The Order, and even when he find out why she did it and accepts it, he still holds it against her, treating her with disdain, but it doesn’t reach the level that Kresley is showing in MacRieve by making it physically revolting for Uilleam to touch her.
I hope that this trend does not become the focus of each and every future book in the series. Kresley writes very interesting stories with intriguing characters and I am looking forward to several anticipated stories, and although her hero and heroine are always at odds, hopefully she changes her current style of the increasing scorn being shown by the males.
I am desperately looking forward to the story of Lanthe and Thronos but sadly, with the known backstory of Lanthe being responsible for Thronos’s father’s death as well as Thronos’s deformity, I am already anticipating another story of hate-filled sex.
It is certainly a well written and intriguing story until we got to the succubus transformation. I hated seeing the vibrant Chloe being treated so badly by Uilleam. I know there isn’t an IAD follower who won’t be picking up a copy MacRieve, but if this was my first read of the series, I wouldn’t understand the draw to the fans.
Received an ARC from the publisher. Thank you.
“So when MacRieve called me a seed-feeder, was that…literal?”
Munro pulled at his collar, as uncomfortable with this as she clearly was. It was like explaining the birds and the bees—to his brother’s mate. “Some say there’s a mystical energy with release, and your species can convert it to a life force.” Could this be any more awkward? “In that case, seed could be just an attractant of sorts, kind of the icing on the…” He trailed off. “Any metaphor I come up with at this point is just going to sound perverted.”
Her cheeks flushed even brighter red. “I get it.”
“Others say, well, that the physical, uh, result is what gets converted.” He coughed into this fist. “I do know it can be from intercourse or oral sex.” Will had once revealed that though Ruelle could feed both ways, she’d never deigned to perform oral sex and had no interest in it herself.
“How often do I have to do that? Months? Weeks?”
“Since you’re young, you’ll need it more often. I’d guess every day. Mayhap every other.”
Her face paled. “That much?” she cried. “What happens if I don’t?”
“For a cambion, I doona rightly know. But for a succubus, the longer she becomes mindless and animalistic with need.” Like the succubae who’d stalked Will, intent on raping him.
Gods, mayhaps this was too much to ask of him.
“Great. Anything else?”
“If you have intercourse with the same male more than three times, you can bind him to you, envenoming him—“
“Like venom out of fangs?” She was aghast.
“No, no, it’s a mystical bond. Once that tie is formed, he’ll sicken without you.” He recalled Will rocking in his bed, covered in sweat. “I understand that it’s like heroin withdrawal, but it never gets better.”
She gave him an incredulous look. “Then why would anyone have sex with a succubus in the first place?”
“You’re bonny. And you can emit chemicals that make males crazed. It’s called strewing.”
“How do I emit them?”
“From what I understand, it comes from your verra breath. It’s scentless, so it’s impossible to detect until the result is felt. Even an unwilling male would find it difficult to resist, if no’ impossible. Mated males are thought to be immune.”
She stopped. “So my new feeding m.o. is to roofie men, then get them hooked on me like heroin, so they’ll keep coming back to the dealer? That’s just messed up.”
He couldn’t disagree. He remained silent, giving her time to work through all the angles.
“I’m going to be dependent on guys, really dependent on them, for the rest of my life?” She looked like she was about to be sick. More to herself she said, “I was making a great living. I had my future planned out.” Another group passed them, casting her hesitant looks. “What are you gawking at?” she snapped.
Munro told her, “News spreads fast around here, I’m afraid.”
“Well, they need to keep their eyes in their heads.”
Before, she’d appeared woeful. With each second that she grew accustomed to all these surprises, her expression grew more mutinous.
Succubae were known to be fawning. They coaxed and beguiled men wherever they went. Chloe looked like she was on the verge of head-butting unsuspecting bystanders.
Munro tilted his head, a flare of hope rising. This female acted like a wee bruiser. She’d made a living as a professional athlete, about the least likely career Munro could imagine for a succubus.
His own innate wariness toward her was fading. Just because she was a halfling succubus didn’t mean she’d be anything like Ruelle.
There was a spark in Chloe’s eyes, a toughness in her demeanor that was so radically different from Munro’s memories of that other creature, so different from any succubae he’d encountered over his long life.
Which meant Munro still believed her a fitting match for Will.
“What about pregnancy?” she asked.
“Full succubae have a few cycles of fertility in a year. I doona know what will happen with you. There’s a soothsayer we can contact to determine more, but it will likely take time.”
“I’m going to wake up, and this will all be a bad dream.” She rubbed her temples. “Is there any upside here?”
“You’re immortal now. You could live forever.”
“Live forever as an out-of-work, roofie-dispensing, drug-dealing skank? If that’s my upside…”
ORDER A COPY: Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (SSTB)
Publishing Date: May 7, 2013
Paperback: 338 pages
Rating: 1 stars
There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart…
Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.
Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.
But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough.
As we say a last goodbye to Sookie Stackhouse, Sookie is still reeling from watching Sam Merlotte die–actually die in front of her. Thankfully Sookie still had the cluviel dor (a fairy magic wish) and she used it to bring Sam back to life.
You would think that saving her friend’s life would make things wonderful for Sookie. But now Eric is unhappy with her because he wanted her to use the dor for his benefit to get him out of the arranged marriage to the Queen of Oklahoma. Eric then summons Sookie to Fangtasia to divorce her and release her from their vampire binding.
And if that is not enough to leave Sookie an emotional wreck, Sam has been acting very odd toward Sookie since he returned from the dead. You’d think he’s at least say thanks.
As if her friends acting odd wouldn’t be bad enough, Sookie has accumulated quite a few enemies over the last few years. Amelia’s father, Copley Carmichael sells his soul to a devil (no, not the devil) so that he can have Sookie’s cluviel dor, only to learn that Sookie has already used the dor and now he has sold his soul for nothing, and he plans on taking out his anger on Sookie.
There are another two men who have returned from Sookie’s past who have plans to ruin Sookie’s life as well and their first move is to have Arlene Fowler released from prison. Arlene, who had previously been arrested for her part in setting up Sookie to be crucified by her racist friends. Arlene is just happy to be released, and she doesn’t know that she is being set up as a pawn in a game to frame Sookie for Arlene’s murder.
When Sookie is arrested, she finds out who her true friends are when they rally around her and help her to find the real culprits.
In what should be an epic conclusion to a popular series which has been turned into a TV show to make it an even more popular series, you would think Charlaine Harris would go out with a bang as explosive as the 4th of July. This book fizzled more like a cheap, wet sparkler.
Although I had given up on this series and didn’t read the last two books, I had no problem keeping up with the happenings of this story. There is a guest appearance from almost every character that has ever shown up in this series, except for Bubba (f/k/a Elvis). Bubba seemed to have been written out of the series about halfway through which was sad, because I liked him. He was always there to help out Sookie or protect her if needed. Even Quinn, the pathetic weretiger, showed up to help out and support Sookie, and just as quickly disappeared again.
I started out enjoying this series, and then quickly became bored with the characters and storylines. I got disgusted with Sookie after the fairy fight where Bill said he would gladly die to protect her and when she looked at her love, Eric, he was “Mmmm, not so much.” Then in the next book, the witch Amelia indicated that Sookie might just be with Eric because of the blood bond, and maybe they could see about breaking it before Sookie changed to a vampire, and Sookie’s concern about that was “Meh.” Then I was thinking “meh” about the whole series.
I don’t know that I have read such a boring, tedious finale to a series ever. If you haven’t purchased your copy, save yourself the time and the money and don’t. If you weren’t planning on it, you are that much smarter than I. I purchased an audiobook copy and wasted almost 11 hours and several days listening to this torture.
Good-bye Sookie. I don’t think anyone is going to miss you.
I can’t say that I had a favorite scene, but just as an example of the excitement presented in this story…Here’s Sookie inventorying her nightstand.
No one at all was at my house when I unlocked the back door. That was strange, since it had been such a beehive that morning. Moved by an impulse, I went into my bedroom and perched on the side of the bed, close to my bedside table. Thanks to my compulsory cleaning during my three days off, neatly located in the top drawer were all the things I might need at a moment’s notice during the night: a flashlight, Kleenex, ChapStick, Tylenol, three condoms Queen had left when we’d dated, a list of emergency phone numbers, a cell phone charger, and old tin box (full of pins, needles, buttons, and paper clips), some pens, a notepad…the usual mixture of handy items.
ORDER A COPY: Heart of Obsidian (PSY/CHANGELING)
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publishing Date: June 4, 2013
Hardcover: 360 pages
Rating: 5 star AWESOME!
A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.
Kaleb Krychek, Cardinal Psy and Councilor of the former Psy-Council, is perhaps the most dangerous man alive. His telekinetic (Tk) abilities are so great they can’t even be measured, but with only a thought he could reach the heart of the planet and destroy it. He has planned out his life meticulously so that he would reach the level of Councilor, and eventually take over the entire Psy-Net itself. All of his plans for power revolve around one more important plan, finding her. Someone took her away from him seven years ago, and he has been searching the world and the Net tirelessly to find her. She is his and he is willing to destroy the world if he does not get her back.
But to understand the now, we need to go back to the beginning. Kaleb was one of the first victims of former Councilor Santano Enrique, powerful Tk, psychopath and serial killer who enjoyed torturing and killing changeling women. Santano has recently been caught and destroyed by the changelings. But long before that happened, Santano purchased the young but very strong Tk Kaleb when he was only 3 years old, and he was determined to mold the youth into his own image with years of mental and physical abuse. Even as an adult with such strong Tk abilities, Kaleb could not fight against Santano or even turn him to the authorities, because Santano had ripped into his mind as a child, building back doors into Kaleb’s psyche, always able to get into his mind and control him. Yet in twisting Kaleb’s childhood, Santano made it impossible for Kaleb to integrate into Silence as all the psy-children must.
This is why young Kaleb Krychek was able to fall in love. Love was an emotion which would normally have caused him to be sent for rehabilitation. Silence keeps psy-children from feeling emotions, no hate, anger, jealousy, but also no love, happiness or joy. But Kaleb could feel could feel love for the one person who treated him like he mattered.
Sahara Kyriakus, an F designation psy of the Nightstar clan, has the ability for Foresight or in her case, subdesignation B for backsight. Like the Justice Psy she could see what happened in the past. At least that is what she is known for outside of her clan. As far as anyone know, Sahara is the only psy alive with her own special and powerful ability and if anyone were to find out about it, they would do anything to get their hands on her. When someone did find out, they abducted her at the tender age of 16, and have locked her away for the last seven years. Sahara had no other defense against those who tried to rip open her mind and control her ability but to twist her own mind into a labyrinth that even she could not unlock. There was only one person who’s presence would allow her to unlock her mind, but even she cannot remember who that would be as twisted as her mind has become.
Kaleb has finally found Sahara and has brought her to the home he built for her outside of Moscow. He will help Sahara unlock her mind. He will keep her safe from harm. He will even go so far as to bind her to himself like the changelings do, by mating with her. Yet he knows that once she unlocks her mind and finally remembers him, she will run from him. Although he will never cage her again, he will also never let her go. She is his and will always be his.
Wow…wow…wow!!! Brilliant! Phenomenal! Every other author who has ever attempted to give their dark antagonist a happily ever after needs to read this book and go try again. This is one of those books that makes me want to go back and re-rate every book I have ever read. If you read the psy-changeling series, this is going to blow your mind. If you don’t, go right now and start with book 1 or this book will not have the same impact for you.
God I love a tortured hero, and Nalini Singh shows us that we knew nothing of the man who was guiding the psy in his power play for total dominance of the Net. In HOA we see a whole new Kaleb Krychek than the one we’ve met so far. Is he still attempting to take over the Net? Yes. Is he still absolutely dangerous? Yes. Is he trying to find Sahara to use her special powers in his end game? Oh, no.
Kaleb was raised by a sociopath and a serial killer, physically brutalized and mentally raped by a monster who wanted to create Kaleb in his own image. As a young boy he chances to meet Sahara, a girl six years his junior but one who is highly intelligent and sympathetic. She befriends the very lonely Kaleb and worries about him and is angry for him once she realizes the brutality which is inflicted on him by Santano. Whenever he can sneak away from Santano, he meets with Sahara, and she brings him peace and a feeling of caring that he has never known before. Their friendship spans a decade until at 16, Sahara is kidnapped and locked away where Kaleb cannot find her. And that is what defines the man we knew and that is the force that governs all his actions for the last seven years–finding Sahara and bringing the only person he cares about home to him.
I almost bawled when young Sahara declared to Kaleb that he is hers and when she turns 21 they will do the psy-equivalent of we’ll get married and make a family and he simply replies “Yes.” and you just know by his simple reply how much it means to him that the only person he cares about wants to be with him and claim him. Absolutely heartbreaking!
Oh, yeah and there’s also this whole war with the organization known as Pure Psy which brings together the humans, changelings and psy to fight them, building strong foundations between the races.
I loved this book and I am going to have to make time to read it again.
Received an ARC from the publisher. Thank you so much!!!
(Sahara is working to remove the labyrinth that she created in her mind and reclaim her memories.)
She had met Kaleb before. A long time ago.
Every year on her birthday, he’d waited for her in a hidden curve of that pathway, and…
Her eyes went wide. Pushing off the blankets, she went to the right side of the bed, lifted up the mattress, and pulled out the small treasure she’d concealed there out of habit, she’d been protecting it for so long. She’d gone so psychotic when a guard tried to take it from her as a punishment that he’s been fired—because Sahara’s hysteria had left her useless to her captors for days.
She’d still been cooperating to a certain point at that stage, in the hope that she could lull them into a false sense of security. That plan had failed, but after the mania of her reaction, no one had ever again tried to take her treasure from her, even during the worst punishments—as if they were afraid of fatally breaking her. Still, she’d stopped wearing it, hiding it in knots she created in her clothing.
Now, it glittered in the lamplight, a charm bracelet of shining platinum.
“Thirteen.” She whispered and touched the key she knew was meant to represent the endless choices open to her.
“Fourteen.” An open book. That was the year her ability for languages had become apparent, French as easy for her to understand and use as Cantonese and Hungarian—as long as she was taught by a fluent speaker of the language, rather than using computronic aids. Intrigued teachers had theorized she had some type of unheard-of psychic ability that allowed her to unconsciously absorb languages from those around her, never realizing how close they skated to the perilous truth.
“Fifteen.” A tiny globe that represented her dream of seeing the world.
“Sixteen.” She touched wondering fingers to the dancer who leaped into the void with abandon, her arms raised above her head, pure joy in her expression.
Four, only four.
All from the man who now held her captive.
She sat on the edge of the bed, the bright metal warm in her palm, the charms of exquisite workmanship. It was the kind of gift that could be taken in many ways, the majority of them troubling, given Kaleb’s connection to Santano Enrique, as well as the six-year age gap between Kaleb and Sahara. It mattered nothing now that they were both adults, but at the start, Kaleb would’ve been nineteen to her thirteen.
Except…for her the bracelet was associated with hope and a rare, incandescent joy. There was no hint of a taint, none of the ugliness that might mean Kaleb had been grooming her as a future victim. Even the idea made her stomach revolt, as if she’d done a terrible insult to something indescribably precious.
Kaleb would never hurt me.
Closing her fingers over the lovely present given to her by a familiar stranger wreathed in shadows, Sahara realized she had a choice to make: to trust in the emotions engendered by this bracelet—a bracelet she’d guarded and treasured for seven long, agonizingly lonely years, or to listen to the coldly rational part of her that reminded her Kaleb had walked hand in hand with a murderous monster since childhood.
In spite of the late hour, he was working at his desk, his dark hair pristine, his steel gray shirt unwrinkled in the slightly yellow-tinged light from the table lamp that provided the only illumination in the room. Looking up when she came in, the roiling darkness she’d glimpsed in the bedroom yet visible in his eyes, he said, “Yes?”
The dead calm of his voice had her hesitating, the decision she’d made a painful hope she couldn’t bear to have crushed.
“Sahara,” he said at her silence, “If you’re here for a reason, speak. If you’re not, leave.”
Swallowing at the cold warning that told her not to push him, she took a seat in the chair on the other side of his desk. He watched her with the unblinking gaze of a predator so deadly, the world had never seen anything like him. “Where”—she wet her throat gone dry as a desert sun—“where are the rest?”
His eyes didn’t move off her.
Trembling within, she lifted her fisted hand in front of her. Plantinum shimmered in the golden light as her fingers fell open. A moment of absolute, endless silence, and then Kaleb blinked and the stars were back in his eyes.
Not breaking the eye contact that threatened to brand her from the inside out, he laid his right hand palm-up on his desk. Seven charms lay on his skin between on heartbeat and the next. Biting back tears as the most secret part of her keened in joy, she leaned closer, hand rising.
He drew the charms away.
Anger flashed, hot and raw. “They’re mine.”
“That’s not how it works.”
Scowling and wanting the charms, she sat back in the chair as he stood and moved around the table with the deadly grace that always drew her eye, her body taut with a very adult tension. Breath shallow, she slipped the bracelet over the wrist, snicked the clasp into place, and held out her arm toward him. “Now.”
Leaning against the desk in front of her, he lifted his hand and a single charm appeared between his fingertips. “Seventeen.”
“A compass.” To find my way home. Heartbreaking, she looked her fill of him as he finished hooking the charm on to the bracelet, and again, she asked herself who he was to her. Who had he been to her, this beautiful man who might be so deeply damaged as to be forever broken?
He glanced up, a lock of hair falling across his forehead, midnight dark against his golden skin. For a fleeting instant, she saw the boy he’d once been, all silky hair and quiet eyes, and she knew the memory was true. Her and Kaleb, whatever it was the tied them together, it had begun long before she was thirteen, begun when they were both children.
“Hurry,” she whispered, helpless as her other hand rose to push that errant lock off his forehead.
He didn’t move away, didn’t repudiate her touch. “Eighteen.” A second charm appeared between his fingers.
She twisted her head this way and that to try to see what it was as he hooked it into place, but he deliberately blocked her sight. She saw the reason why when he straightened. “An unsheathed blade.” What he had become the day she vanished.
“Nineteen.” He began to hook the charm on before she saw the telekinetic fetch.
A small home.
The rock that was her heart grew heavier. “Twenty.”
“Twenty.” This one, he let her see.
A tiny heart formed of a deep blue stone, so very beautiful it made her breath release in a sigh. “Sapphire?”
“Tanzanite.” His eyes meet hers. “Rare. Unique.”
A frozen heart, she thought, her wonder swirled with a haunting sorrow. His heart or hers?
A fragment of jagged obsidian, edges smoothed only enough not to cut her skin.
A single, perfect star.
Frowning, she looked up at him. “I don’t understand.”
He hooked the charm into place. “Only this star matters.” His thumb brushing over her inner wrist. “Should it be erased, no other has the right to live.”